Tuesday, July 30, 2013


I really like being 30.
West Fir, Oregon

I imagined turning thirty would be like a countdown before blasting off and so far my reality has lived up to that vision. I should clarify that my idea of blasting off is not as explosive or dramatic as you might think. 

I didn’t go skydiving or deep sea diving or shooting up in a rocket. Actually, I’ve spent the first week of my thirties being an extreme nature lover.
Crater Lake
West Fir, Oregon

I hiked around Ashland and Crater Lake, wearing a skirt that matched the deep blue of the water, getting scratched by thorny shrubbery, taking photos everywhere. My mission has been to relax as much as possible. I’m now house sitting for a friend, a job that involves watering rhododendrons, lying in a hammock and listening to a Miguel Zenon station on Pandora with the speakers turned up. With one leg dangling off the side, I rocked myself, only once getting pulled out of my reverie by a truck tearing down the road, blasting a song about bitch slapping. When I stopped by my mom’s apartment today for boxes of macaroni and cheese and clean clothes, I overheard a fight in the next apartment, in which one woman was threatening to bitch slap another. It’s a little strange to hear two references to bitch slapping when the only language I’ve heard all day has been expressed through trumpets and saxophones.

My fee for staying at my friend’s house is reading her manuscript about Glacier Bay, Alaska. The book suits my contemplative mood. She writes about how people live in harmony with the earth, how people are shaped by their experiences and how land, just like us, changes over time. People and places are temporary while ideas remain stagnant.  I suppose to really love a place you would have to be accepting to it changing over time, the same as you would for a person. To be happy with people and places we should be open-minded and try not to get stuck in mucky, rigid ideas. Developing ideas about people and places can be dangerous. The idea of holy land has resulted in pointless bloodshed over the decades, simply because people are trying to mold a place into an idea.
Crater Lake

Diamond Peak

While I’m contemplating my friend’s book, I’m also thinking about how delighted I am with my friendships and the people who have changed and grown with me over the years.   
My friend Mel gave me a lovely handmade card for my birthday and a necklace with two small clocks in it, so that I can wind one to Portland time and one to whatever time zone I happen to be passing through. My friend Khira gave me a palm reading and was somehow able to tell from looking at my hand that I have a big heart and am a caring person. I usually look at a person’s eyes to determine this, but she must know something I don’t about pathways to the human heart. My palm also revealed that I might have a nervous breakdown when I’m about 45. But that’s okay. Right now, I’m just focusing on how cool it feels to be thirty.

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